One of the hardest things for Bri and me during the last three years has been our inability to be part of community. Chemo and radiation, recoveries from multiple surgeries, side effects of medications, and fatigue from the barrage my body has undergone kept us isolated for months at a time. Every time I would begin to get strength and recover, we’d start back again to church, picnics, off-roading trips with friends… and then something else would hit us and I’d be sidelined. I struggled with guilt, watching Brian sacrifice his life, his hobbies, his interests, his activities to care for the children and me.
We were forced to give up so much, sometimes it feels like too much. Our life stopped. We had only the time and energy to focus on the needful things and were unable to pursue others the way we desired to. Without our ability to pursue, we found that community ended. And it was hard. It was not how we were made. Yes, one more proof of the effects of the fall.
As my headline is moving to another page and we are rejoicing in no cancer in our life, my strength is returning, and we are beginning to live outside of our home again and to rediscover community. It’s changed. That we know. Our friendships have changed. Our ministry has changed. Our physical abilities have changed. Our priorities have changed.
But one thing hasn’t changed.
Community is a beautiful thing.
Our friend, Zach, writes of this on his blog, Not Always Acting. Bri and I are working again with the college students at our church, and we were beyond belssed to be able to be a part of the college and church community yesterday at our Memorial Day picnic. Zach’s blog post is a well-written recounting of God’s hand of provision and of the joy of community.
But my favorite part of the evening was when I was able to just sit on the edge of the deck and watch. I saw relationship evolving everywhere around me, and my heart was melting. The colors around me were changing as the sun set over the ridge, and I forgot I was on earth. Heartache, pain, and sorrow had fled. Smiles, hugs, and laughter were everywhere. Love radiated from every inch of that backyard, and I was getting a perfect picture of Heaven.
Please take a moment to read his whole post.
It was truly a beautiful evening, and I couldn’t agree more with Zach. A picture of Heaven.
My cup overflows.
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